Istanbul

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“If the earth was a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.” Napoleon Bonaparte

 

This is not quite a tea quote, but it is one that reminds us that Istanbul has always been a city of international trade and commerce.  What came as a surprise to me was that tea was a latecomer to Turkey, only becoming a widely consumed beverage in the 20th century in the aftermath of World War I.  Coffee was an expensive import and tea was easily grown domestically on the eastern Black Sea coast which has the requisite fertile soil, mild climate and high precipitation. Turkish tea is usually prepared in two stacked kettles, and served in small tulip-shaped glasses which display the amber richness of the tea.  Once you take a sip, you will be forever on an adventure.

Istanbul – A single glance!

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If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.
Alphonse de Lamartine

Alphonse de Lamartine was a French writer, poet and politician who was born during the French Revolution (1790) and lived to become a key player in the founding of the Second Republic of France (1848).  A pacifist and political idealist, his efforts led to the abolishment of slavery and the death penalty, the enshrinement of the right to work, and the short-lived national workshop programs. A life well lived!

Istanbul